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Johnson invites Gold Star parents of Marines killed in Afghanistan to State of the Union

House Speaker Mike Johnson tells ABC News that his guests at Thursday's State of the Union address will include Gold Star parents who lost children in the Kabul airport bombing during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

"President Biden's hasty, unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan was a failure for America and its allies. It led to the tragic deaths of brave American servicemembers, including Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover and Cpl. Hunter Lopez," Johnson said in a statement to ABC News, echoing election-year arguments made by many Republicans.

Johnson invited Alicia Lopez and Darin Hoover, who both lost children in combat during the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Cpl. Hunter Lopez and Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover were both killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, at Abbey Gate. Taylor Hoover was the oldest of the 13 service members killed that day.

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PHOTO: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., discusses President Joe Biden's policies at the Mexican border during a news conference at the Capitol, Feb. 29, 2024 in Washington.  (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
PHOTO: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., discusses President Joe Biden's policies at the Mexican border during a news conference at the Capitol, Feb. 29, 2024 in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

"Taylor and Hunter are great men, dedicated Marines and incredible sons who made our families proud every day. They paid the ultimate sacrifice along with the 11 others killed and 45 wounded for our great country, but more than two years since their death, the President has left us without answers," Darin Hoover and Alicia Lopez said in a joint statement.

"As parents, we deserve transparency and we demand justice. We're grateful to be joining Speaker Johnson at the State of the Union to commemorate our sons and demand accountability from this Administration," they added.

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Since the start of the 118th Congress, House Republicans have been investigating the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Just this week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to consider holding Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress for allegedly failing to cooperate with a subpoena seeking documents related to the U.S. withdrawal.

Biden denounced the attack and vowed to hunt down those responsible.

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The U.S. military admitted a tragic mistake occurred when a drone strike days later -- against what was believed to be a car bomber -- instead struck three adults, including the Afghan employee of an American aid organization, and seven children.

"We need a President who shows strength -- not weakness -- on the global stage," Johnson said in a statement to ABC News.

Johnson invites Gold Star parents of Marines killed in Afghanistan to State of the Union originally appeared on abcnews.go.com